Arts and Culture

Earth

N.K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy — set in a futuristic world grappling with power, racism and oppression, with a dash of magic thrown in — is rooted in the historical moment we’re now living in.More

mic in the booth

Anne Strainchamps talks to podcaster Ann Friedman and radio journalist Susan Stamberg about critiques of female voices.More

Germany

The refugee crisis is front and center in Germany. So when German novelist Jenny Erpenbeck met a group of African refugees camping out in Berlin, she started asking questions about the lives they were forced to leave behind.More

Screenshot from "Desert Bus" playthrough by Phrasz013.

A simulated eight-hour bus drive earns you one point. Why would anyone want to play a game like that?More

Artificial Creativity

Machines are getting smarter. They have been for a long time. But is there anything uniquely human that they will never be able to do, like make art?More

Man gets lost

Rebecca Solnit prepares the smartphone era for a time when we no longer know how to not know where we are.More

The mountain beckons

For years, David Roberts climbed some of Alaska’s biggest mountains, and made a number of first ascents. His new book is an examination of why some climbers feel compelled to push the edge of what’s possible.More

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty can trace his family’s food history back to the slave cabins and Antebellum kitchens of the South. Honoring his diasporic heritage — he’s both black and Jewish — lead Twitty to the practice of identity cooking. He calls it Kosher/Soul.More

Lots of choices

153 flavors of ice cream. An acre of cold cereals. Why do supermarkets have so many choices? Or do they? Where we might see hundreds of flavors, varieties and brands of food, food journalist Simran Sethi sees a scary kind of sameness.More

"The Elephant's Journey" by Julie Schumacher

"Dear Committee Members" author Julie Schumacher recommends Portuguese Nobel Lauaureate José Saramago's retelling of a true tale.More

Random balls? Or skill grab?

Jason Rohrer is one of the top game designers in the world. So when the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act came out, he found a loophole. Turns out, its' not all internet gambling games that are against the law. It's only the ones that are subject to chance. He claims that his new online gambling game is all skill.  More

random strands of light

Choreographer Bill T. Jones says that while many of us are trying to put more skill into our lives, his mentor, the musician John Cage, spent his life trying to do just the opposite. Jones says Cage’s music was often based on randomness and chance.More

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.More

guilt for smoking

A lot of people feel guilty about something - diet, money, relationships or something else. Our host Anne Strainchamps and writer Devorah Baum definitely do. So we asked them to sit down to talk about how we wound up about in a giant cultural guilt trip.More

Ken Windsor (CC BY 3.0)

Critic Ted Gioia says a new generation of young musicians have discovered an antidote to stale, formulaic pop music in the energy and ecstasy of jazz.More

Band A Part

Norway's acclaimed pianist Tord Gustavsen recommends another Norwegian classic, Masqualero's album "Bande a Part."More

USA Trilogy

Kim Stanley Robinson recommends "The Greatest Story of the 1920's That We Have: The U.S.A. Trilogy" by John Dos Passos.More

Odysseus und Penelope

Classicist Emily Wilson is the first woman ever to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic. "In some ways, it should be a story that's less about me than about why it has taken the English speaking world so long before there's been a complete published translation of "The Odyssey" by a woman."More

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